It’s your top men’s volleyball stories list, but with a twist.
Every Sunday during the men’s volleyball regular season, Off the Block will post the best men’s volleyball stories of the week from around the nation. The list, though, is based more on how well the reporter wrote and covered the story rather than just what happened on the court.
In many communities volleyball is a non-mainstream sport that has a niche following. One of the exciting things for reporters covering volleyball, though, is finding that interesting angle that could appeal to volleyball and non-volleyball fans.
Going beyond the box score and game notes to provide readers with insight on the team that they can’t got anywhere else is one of the most important skills for a sports reporter.
This list is to honor those efforts.
BYU libero makes most of opportunity
Darnell Dickson | Daily Herald
Freshman libero Mitchel Worthington at the start of the season was not expecting to get much playing time, but he entered the weekend leads No. 3/3 BYU with a 2.15 digs per game average. This profile story looks at how Worthington adjusted to his role in the starting lineup following a preseason injury to libero Erik Sikes, who returned to the court for the Cougars this weekend.
From Hawaii to the heartland
Robert Collias | The Maui News
The two-match non-conference series between No. 5/5 Hawai’i and Grand View this weekend means something more than just the match results for Grand View coach Donan Cruz. This personality profile examines the significance of matches for Cruz and his NAIA program with the coach growing up in Hawaii and Guam.
Young Volleydons stun nationally ranked team
Blake Sebring | The News-Sentinel
Freshman outside attacker Pelegrin Vargas finished with both a team-high nine kills and seven digs as Fort Wayne swept No. 12 George Mason on Friday for its first victory against a nationally ranked team in two years. This deadline game story focuses on the development of Vargas and his potential to become the next All-American for the Mastodons.
Penn State alumni bring back legacy of success
Natasha Warcholak | The Daily Collegian
Dozens of Nittany Lions men’s volleyball alumni returned to Penn State campus last weekend for an event that featured everything from an alumni match to a sing-off against current players. This news-feature story examines the benefits of the alumni weekend for the former Penn State players and what the current players learned from the experience.
UCLA freshman-senior middle duo provides strong offense
Kelsey Angus | Daily Bruin
Freshman middle attacker Daenan Gyimah is third in the nation with a .547 attack percentage, while senior middle attacker Mitch Stahl is in the nation’s top 20 hitting .386. This news-feature story focuses on how the two middle attackers have been so successful offensively for the No. 2/2 UCLA through the first month of the season.
BYU suffers first home loss of season
Sean Walker | KSL
No. 3/3 BYU rallied from a two-game deficit but was unable to beat No. 7/7 UC Irvine in a decisive fifth game that ended its eight-match home winning streak dating back to last season. This game story examines why the Cougars struggled in the opening two games of their conference loss.
Ball State knocks off No. 12 George Mason
Hendrix Magley | The Ball State Daily News
Outside attacker Brendan Surane finished with a season-high 21 kills and 10 digs to help No. 13 Ball State rally from a one-game deficit and beat No. 12 George Mason on Thursday. This deadline game story focuses on Surane’s offensive performance and Ball State’s ability to slow down All-EIVA George Mason opposite Jack Wilson.